iBDW Wins Smash Summit 12

iBDW Wins Smash Summit 12

Smash Summit 12 saw the return of international in-person competition to one of the oldest fighting games still headlining events today. Uniquely among the year’s major Melee events, Summit hosts only 16 players. These 16 players represent some of the best in the scene, making Summit a reliable source for electrifying Melee play. This year the Beyond The Summit team were able to bring in top international talent, making the tournament truly world-class. Panda’s resident rising star iBDW won the event, an achievement he now shares with a number of Melee’s all-time greatest.

Melee has a long history; at various points in the game’s lifetime, different players have risen to prominence, dominated competition for a time, and then been surpassed themselves by new blood like Zain—or sometimes by old greats making a comeback, as has been the case with Mang0. For most of this year, these two players have been the clear best in the world, but both fell to iBDW, who looked unstoppable on his way to the top.

 Qualifying from Mainstage 2021, iBDW faced 15 of the world’s top Melee players, including Sweden’s Leffen and Japan’s aMSa, both of whom returned to the United States for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The presence of these international heavyweights promised to elevate the level of competition in a game that has largely been limited to regional or online play for the past two years. Despite that, iBDW didn’t lose a match, winning seven straight games against the world’s best. 

iBDW met Zain near the end of the bracket, in the Winners Final. Zain is a relatively young player in the Melee scene, known for his controlled playstyle and mastery of Marth’s matchup against Fox. iBDW also had yet to defeat Zain in his career before this event. Against the odds, iBDW secured the Winners Final 3-2, taking the first set of his career against Zain and moving on to the Grand Final. In the Grand Final, iBDW took down previous Summit champion Mang0 with a convincing 3-0 victory, defeating the Melee legend for the first time since Summit 8. 

Melee’s time online has proven to be a major shakeup for the 20-year-old fighting game. 2021 is a great time to be a Melee fan, with the top of the rankings looking closer than ever for players new and old. By winning Summit, iBDW takes his second championship at a major event this year and proves himself to be a contender for the next era of Melee greats.




- Walker Manning

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